Most important trends in fleet management — IoT, Telematics, and more

Fresh trends in fleet management software all in one place — read up and see how you can use them to enhance your business.

Trends you don’t want to miss in fleet management software

Rapid growth in the only realistic expectation from the fleet management market. The industry is forecasted to be worth $31.5-billion by 2023. This is double what it was in 2018 — and disruptive technologies play a great part in this stunning development.

Verizon Connect, one of the world’s largest telematics companies, has proven in the latest 2020 report that integrating innovative technological solutions in their operations helps fleet companies to significantly cut fuel emissions and expenses, accident-related costs, and even decrease labor costs.

To survive 2020 and fulfill the growth prophecies, fleet businesses need to change. Digital transformation in combination with thorough client research and pursuing bigger social goals will make the new generation of market giants in fleet management and ride-hailing.

But what exactly are the trends and how to use them cleverly? Well, read up, we’ve put it in a nutshell for you. 🧠

Internet of things: more data, more insights

The Internet of Things (for friends, IoT) is a hype ever since coming to the market, and still a powerful trend now. Long story short, it’s all about smart sensors, beacons, and even mobile phones collecting loads of data.

And data is precious for analysis. Data gathered by IoT-enabled devices can be used to get insights into how the fleets operate, why, and how to make it more efficient.

Identifying patterns, trends, and practices within your company’s fleet operations can help improve the performance and efficiency of the fleet at large and of every particular driver.

Think optimizing routes to cut idle time, shorten the distance, optimize fuel consumption, cut emissions. See what roads are accident-prone and look for safer alternatives. Get an overview of drivers’ behavior on the road and address undesirable practices immediately. Check if rides are happening in full accordance with safety regulations for drivers, passengers, cargo, and the general public.

IoT is a perfect tool for many management tasks, from preventing fraud to reducing wait time. Why not try it?

Real-time tracking: telematics and GPS

Telematics tech is very popular among fleet management enterprises, especially in cargo logistics. The data captured by their telematics tools can be used to a fuller extent though — and this is the next big trend.

As data becomes essential for success, companies even choose to add extra data analytics software to their telematics stack.

Telematics tech provides fleet companies with real-time updates on vehicle status. You are instantly notified about any issues and can react immediately. It allows to track crucial asset information, like diagnostic trouble codes (DTC), odometer readings, vehicle performance, driver behavior.

Isn’t this a dream of any fleet owner or ride-hailing company? No longer spending hours checking everything manually. Fewer errors. Less human work — but is this necessarily a bad thing? 🤔

Artificial intelligence assisting drivers

Artificial intelligence integrated with fleet management systems can solve a lot of problems. The AI trend is strong in other industries as well — for example, the construction sector uses artificial intelligence to improve construction management software analysis.

What issues can AI tackle for the ride-hailing industry?

  • AI processes more data and derives useful insights into efficiency and productivity.
  • AI is essential in predictive analytics. It provides fleet managers, drivers, and mechanics with recommendations based on historical insights to address potential risks, routes optimization, maintenance.
  • AI can assist drivers. It can take and analyze real-time data from various sensors, weather channels, traffic updates, and more. With this data, it will direct drivers to more optimized routes, notify drivers if they are speeding, and even automatically adjust the temperature inside the cabin to ensure their comfort and/or alertness! How exciting is that? 🦾
  • AI can help prevent fraud and theft, too. For instance, use facial recognition to prevent vehicle theft — say, AI would allow a car to start only if it recognizes a driver.
  • In extreme cases (for example, if a driver is experiencing health issues and loses control) AI might even take over the vehicle and alert emergency services.

In a generally unsafe and uncertain world, such extra safety measures are very welcome, and many companies think of integrating AI into their everyday routine.

Autonomous fleets: great expectations

Another emerging trend is the autonomous fleets. While AI capabilities make any platform more premium, fully autonomous vehicles would be even better.

They’d perform self-diagnosis, track engine health, predict maintenance requirements. They would also make commuting safer and quicker, optimize routes, and even be aseptically clean — a very important feature in the context of a pandemic.

Ride-hailing giant Uber is testing autonomous autonomous vehicles right as we speak. Recently, it has announced rolling out AI-powered vehicles in the streets of Washington D.C. to collect initial data. The goal is to use self-driving cars to provide transportation service to Washington D.C.’s commuters. Waymo and Tesla invest heavily in autonomous driving technologies, too. 

Ride-hailing companies would experience a great impact of this new technology. While complete take-over by AI still seems unrealistic yet, it’s the right time to think about it and be prepared.

Planet & people — goals larger than just profit

Millennials and gen Zers were known for their loyalty to sustainable brands. The impact of products and services they use on the environment and human rights is extremely important for this new category of consumers.

Since the pandemic of COVID-19, the very core of our consumerist economy is challenged. Many governments have framed the move to lockdown as health versus economy. Combined with Extinction Rebellion initiatives all over the world, this led many young consumers to yearn for social and economical change alongside with less frequent, more mindful, sustainable consumption.

What does this mean for ride-hailing companies? First of all, the environmental aspect of getting a ride will stay the top-priority for many clients. Cutting carbon emissions through route optimization, choosing for electric vehicles, compensating CO2 emissions — these are just some solutions ride-hailing companies can use.

Showing your brand cares for people is another important trend. Ever since Uber's attitude to drivers is widely criticized, it’s clever to show you value your employees and stand for their rights.

Unconventional partnerships for greater good

As customers expect brands to take more social responsibility, many companies place this responsibility in higher priority than even profit.

In the face of the pandemic, it has become clear that customers love to see businesses investing — even if at a smaller scale — into solving public problems. Uber was praised for launching free-of-charge commuting services for healthcare workers. Apple and Google started a collaboration for developing a virtual handshake app for people to see if they’ve been in contact with someone having COVID-19. Nike retweets Adidas to support the Black Lives Matter protests.

Where does this bring us? In the first place, the market is ready for unconventional decisions and collaborations that go beyond traditional notions of becoming a market leader. Launching a socially-responsible partnership with a direct competitor may now bring you more loyal users than anything else.

Higher public accountability of companies is another important trend here. For the years to come, we will often hear the question “How did they help during the pandemic?” — and the answer to this question will definitely influence the position of a business.

Connected fleets and connected humans

As you can see, most of these trends boil down to vehicle connectivity. Fleet owners try to enhance operational efficiency, and cut operational costs — and collecting and analyzing large amounts of data is a great way to get this done.

Vehicle connectivity on a fleet-level scale means the visibility of great amounts of data and getting real-time updates on what could be improved.

Connected fleets are expected to help ride-hailing companies, drivers, and mechanics discover opportunities they did not know existed, allowing them to create more avenues for revenue, and performance.

At the same time, fleet connectivity alone is not enough to attract and retain the new generation of clients. Brands — and ride-hailing companies are no exception — are expected to take more social responsibility and help the public achieve greater goals.

Reducing or compensating air pollution, making social moves, showing you are ready to invest in what feels good and safe to the customers are even more important than gathering giant amounts of data about your fleet.

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